Get busy living, or get busy dying..

Its been years since I watched the Shawshank Redemption and its no shocker to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed it when I popped it on the other night.

Stephen King, to me, is one of the greatest modern American authors.  I am not a great reader by any means, but there has always been something about his work, his imagination, that has resonated with me.  The Shawshank Redemption in my opinion, is one of his greatest stories, and the words ‘Get busy living, or get busy dying’ stuck with me long after I watched the film.

How many of us go through each day, without actually enjoying it?  On the hamster wheel with work and home life/housework and another day has passed, just like any other.  All of us deserve more than this – we are more than our jobs, titles,  or anything else that we have been labelled with.

Which brings me onto the reason for this post, finally!  Recently I placed another order of coffee pods, the order previous to that hadn’t been that long ago and made  me take stock of how much coffee I was actually drinking on a daily basis. Eep, it worked out to be 6 cups (or sometimes more) a day. Not good!

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Reason that I have been reaching for my standard black Americano is that I am constantly ‘knackered’, dragging myself to bed as soon as I can, lacking motivation for anything and we all know this level of caffeine will disturb sleep patterns (and god knows what other health issues).

But its not just caffeine  I’ve been reaching for, its been sugar and salt too to give me energy – and unfortunately all this has piled on half a stone since this time last year, n matter how many miles I have run, you just can’t outrun a bad diet…

Now I am training hard for the Great Wall marathon, I decided to do a bit of research to combat this fatigue and fell upon Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome…

Adrenal Fatigue is a decrease in the adrenal glands’ ability to carry out this normal function. It is commonly caused by chronic stress from any source (including emotional, physical, mental, or environmental) that exceeds the body’s capacity to adjust appropriately to the demands placed on it by the stress.

Well I could very well fall into this category… looking at the symptoms, I tick every box.

  • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • Inability to handle stress
  • Regular and unexplained fatigue
  • Cravings for salty foods
  • Mild depression
  • Insomnia
  • Overuse of stimulants like caffeine
  • A weak immune system (4 colds in 2017 alone)

Whether I have Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome or not I don’t know but I decided to check out how to battle it.  It can’t hurt, as the treatment is healthy lifestyle changes rather than anything drastic.

First things first I decided to focus on two areas this week rather than overwhelm myself with the lot;

Caffeine:  I have cut back on my cup of Joe.  Just having 3 a day, and drinking more water and herbal tea.  I’ve noticed the benefits of this after only 2 days in – feeling more awake and better within myself (emotionally).

Sleep: My daughter is nearly three and mostly sleeps in with us even after we have plastered her bedroom with Frozen posters and millions of toys! She has a habit of kicking out and mostly all night I will get kicked in the back, chest or face! So I normally get a very interrupted nights sleep.  This has got to stop, for our sakes and for hers.  So slowly trying to get her back in her own bed now.  With my husband on nights I tend to do the most childcare out of the two of us, and just need some space to myself even at night in bed.

So onwards and upwards – I have been swapping out some of my go-to bad food ‘crisps and chocolate’ for better, healthier, options.  Not looking at calorie content at the moment but choices, so been eating nuts, boiled eggs, hummus rather and will continue on with this…

Lastly, in prep for the Great Wall I have ordered a new aerobic step – the old one I finally found in the garage and managed to crush and break in the garage door (long story) so as soon as this arrives I will dig out my old Cher aerobic step routine which I did religiously back in the day! I actually can’t wait. Old Skool!

Hope you are doing well with your training and enjoying Spring as it seems to have finally arrived 🙂

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Overhaul of training and eating..

More details about a big event that I am training for will be released soon, mainly due to funds and some other factors mean I may or may not compete.

But what I am focussing on, is getting myself ready for this epic, once in a lifetime challenge. If not I will be in the best nick of my life. So its a win-win all round.

For this event, I want to train in the most sensible way I can, which means minimalizing the risk of injury and working on more muscle groups than the ones I just use for running.  Last year’s downward spiral in my running journey I think wasn’t helped with the monotonous plod on the pavement and boredom it created, so my new plan is more mixed, more trail-based and I am much, much happier in the first week of my new training regime.

So, taking into account my age,  44, and where I am at now in regards to weight, type of training and eating plan I have been looking in the below areas for improvement.

Abel & Colesmoothies and clean eating.  We have been getting the weekly ‘Simple recipe’ food box for quite some time now and really enjoying the meals.  Nothing quite tastes as delicious as organic food to me, and besides, its got me back into enjoying cooking.  We decided to add onto our weekly order the smoothie box, this week’s recipes were banana bread, kale zinger (oh boy, that was hard-core), and a mango one which I will have later today.  I am not one to jump on the scales every day, but I know  need to lose quite a bit of weight to be able to take on this challenge, so that my body isn’t spending unnecessary energy lugging around surplus weight.

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Jeff Galloway (Buy Jeff’s book here) – 3 minutes run: 1 minute walk – I bought Jeff’s book a while back and only got round to picking it up yesterday.  I decided that this is the way I will train for my event as its the best chance of protecting me from injury and conserving energy to ensure I can go for longer periods and more mileage.  Some of the stories in the book where runners have achieved PB’s in races using this technique is incredible.

Without Jeff in mind I have been doing this style myself on my runs last week on the trail hills, but now have set the run/walk programme into my Garmin and going to try this out on my run on Thursday and see how much mileage I can cover.  It will be weird as I know I will feel odd walking so early in the run, but I have heard so many good things about this technique that I must give it a go.

Hydration – aiming for 4 pints a day.  This out of everything, is the biggest challenge and always has been for me, something as simple as drinking water! At the moment I seem to be powdering my nose all day.  Apparently when you start hydrating more then this is natural until your body gets used to the new amount of water!  Some days I just seem to drink coffee – which is NOT good.  So, this I am hoping generates some energy for me, can’t do me any harm right?

Swimming – Adding in swimming to my weekly schedule, this is to help with breath and also to give my arms a good workout.  My first swim was this morning and I managed 20 minutes in the pool,  next week I am aiming for 30 minutes.  Next time I am making sure I put my goggles on and old lady swimming hat.

Next focus: climbing steps…. lunges and everything else to build the leg muscles.

Have a great week all xx

Caffeine boost…

One of my recent finds and under recommendation from a runner friend is Truestart Performance Coffee.  I picked up a 80g pouch and have been waiting to test it out before my runs to see if it affects my performance in any way.

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pass me my Joe!

Truestart Performance Coffee has been developed by athletes and the only coffee designed for sports performance.  It’s a natural Colombian Arabica coffee, so has no nasty chemicals. It has the lift with its controlled caffeine release but doesn’t have the extreme highs and lows of regular instant coffees.  It’s stated to improve focus, mental performance and physical endurance and packs 95mg of caffeine per scoop. So sounds pretty good… but what does it taste like?

As I ran out of my regular coffee brand this morning, I remembered I had this in the cupboard and an ideal day to test it out as I had a treadmill run planned.  It has a very earthy taste and I noticed immediately the difference in quality from my normal regular brand.  It tastes very good!

My first coffee was at 6.30am and then another one at 10.30am with a short treadmill run planned for 11am, and boy did I fly on that treadmill! A complete sweatfest twenty minute blast.  Brilliant!  I aim to drink it again tomorrow ahead of my LSR to see how it works for that too. So far, so good!  Another boost is that it may also oddly help me reduce my caffeine habit with its controlled caffeine release, today I have had 2 coffees and that’s a massive reduction from the 6 per day I was having!

Happy sipping BB xx

 

 

 

 

 

NEW BLOG POST: A vampire called Victoria

I uploaded and accidentally deleted in the process of moving it, a package of pork liver from my runner friends group on Facebook…

This pork liver post, as random as it was, is quite an important one though, having enough iron in your body is essential for runners.  Studies show that athletes have less iron in their bodies than regular ‘sit on the couch’ types which indicates a requirement for iron during exercise.

Here’s why…

  1. Hemolysis: a condition in which red blood cells are damaged from the constant pounding of running. Red blood cells rupture and release hemoglobin, some of which is excreted by the kidney and therefore appears in the urine. It was stated that runners might lose 1.0 to 1.5 mg of iron from hemolysis, which suggests additional iron consumption is necessary to prevent symptoms of anemia.
  2. Sweat: its estimated that approximately 0.3 to 0.4 mg of iron is lost per litre of sweat during exercises.

 

Lately I have felt incredibly fatigued, to the point that the walk to nursery and back has been like sludging through treacle never mind the training I have to do for my races, this on the back of a chest infection, weeks of sleepless nights and stress (get the violin out) has left me looking and feeling like a zombie, which is quite handy as Walking Dead is back on our screens this week.  That aside, I always have the instinct to know when I need to ‘up my iron’.  During IVF and other times I have needed extra iron and think its the first thing to fall within me.

So tumblr_nwfx4fyrZY1uif0o0o1_400I am going in prepared… I purchased today some Swisse Iron+ (with organic spirulina tablets) from Boots today, it has a whacking 20mg of iron in, women’s current recommendation is 15mg a/day.  Plus today’s liver lunch should set me up quite well, I am eating it now as I am typing this and so far haven’t thrown up.  So far, so good.

 

Here’s some helpful tips for other borderline anemic fans:

  • Eat lean cuts of beef, pork, and lamb three or four times a week.
  • Choose iron-enriched or fortified breads and cereals.
  • Use cast-iron skillets for cooking.
  • Don’t drink coffee or tea with every meal, particularly if you’re prone to anemia. Substances found in these drinks interfere with iron absorption.
  • Combine vegetarian and animal sources of iron.
  • Eat iron-rich foods with vitamin C (i.e., orange juice) to enhance absorption.

 

Well these tablets can sit alongside my whole other range of tablets in the kitchen, I must rattle when I walk!  If they make me feel better.. then that’s all I am after.

Back out Wednesday for a run so I will see if this has any effect.   The liver slices remind me of Hannibal Lector and no doubts I will be in padded cell like him sooner or later.  Please come visit me and bring some liver…!

Hannibal-Hopkins

I ate his liver with some fava beans….

As for iron, I had better switch it on and defeat the leaning tower of ironing that awaits me…

Have a good week, BB xx